Four Things to Remember as the Pro-life Movement Is Put to the Test
As we approach this 2024 March for Life [in Washington], the pro-life movement is being put to the test. The post-Dobbs climate of euphoria has subsided. The American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property (TFP) joins with all who oppose the slaughter of innocent human beings as we prepare for the battle ahead.
With the overturning of Roe v. Wade, some might have thought that the issue of life would be enough to carry the day. Once out of Roe’s straitjacket, people assumed that the plight of the tiny unborn baby would melt the hearts of all. States would be free to repeal their abortion laws or enact new restrictions.
The cruel reality proved otherwise. Portions of the population still put their self-interest above that of the innocent unborn and society in general. The pro-abortionists are fighting with even greater ferocity.
In times like these, our mettle is tested. The pro-abortion side, which was driven to despair by the Dobbs decision, now seeks to discourage pro-lifers by pointing to election results and polls, which sympathetic media have exaggerated to create an atmosphere of doubt within pro-life ranks.
Many are discouraged despite solid showings by pro-life candidates and the election of pro-life majorities (many veto-proof) in 57 houses of the state legislatures (Democrats hold 40). Some “pro-life” politicians have panicked and proposed a way of compromise and surrender. Others call for abandoning what they call the “abortion liability” as the path to easy political power.
In the fight ahead, the pro-life movement will prevail if it remembers four things leading to victory.
1. Never Forget the Dobbs Victory
We must always remember the great victory in overturning Roe v. Wade. It shocked the world and achieved the impossible. We must not forget that the “abortion liability” has often been the path to many victories, not defeats. Even today, the issue dominates the election cycle. The matter has defied all the naysayers who considered it “settled law.”
To the Dobbs victory, we can add the efforts of sidewalk protesters who have closed thousands of abortion clinics nationwide with their insistent prayers, presence and perseverance. The movement counts on hundreds of thousands of pro-lifers, many of them young, who are energized every year at the March for Life in Washington, D.C. and in an increasing number of American state capitals and cities, to affirm the pro-life cause has a future.
Through the media, the other side is skilled at trying to give an overwhelming impression that most people are for abortion. The current campaign centered on election results is no different from the others. We must resist the temptation to accept the narrative of the other side.
We must not lose courage but rather redouble our prayers and efforts to defeat procured abortion and make it unthinkable. The defeat of Roe only serves to prove that unlikely victory is possible.
2. Always Remember that Abortion Is a Moral Issue, Not a Question of Women’s Rights
When Roe v. Wade made the sin of procured abortion legal nationwide in 1973, the issue was presented as a matter of women’s rights and liberation. Indeed, abortion made possible the destruction of Christian morals. It advanced the sexual revolution because it allowed women to be sexually active without the consequence of pregnancy.
However, the pro-life movement dared to change the debate by affirming that every procured abortion is a moral evil. Procured abortion is always premeditated murder since it stops the beating heart of an innocent unborn baby.
Thus, the movement reaffirmed a notion of right and wrong that the other side tried to stifle. It proclaimed that God’s law must be obeyed. For this reason, many pro-lifers became involved in other issues in the brutal culture war that still rages across America.
Thus, we must resist the temptation to turn the debate into an effort only to save lives, vital though it may be. The entire moral order must be defended and fostered if procured abortion is to be defeated.
3. Remember that this Battle Is a Clash of Mindsets
Let us remember that the battle over procured abortion represents a violent clash of two mindsets. It cannot be reduced to a simple cultural or political dimension.
One mentality springs from America’s origins in Enlightenment thought, particularly as expressed by nineteenth-century liberalism. Its central premise is focused on the gratification of the will over the intellect, from which comes its distorted notions of individualism, liberty and equality. Indeed, David Hume (1711—1776) famously wrote, “Reason is, and ought only to be, the slave of the passions and can never pretend to any other office than to serve and obey them.”
The essence of this liberalism is the right to think, feel, do and sin in everything the unrestrained passions demand as long as no one is hurt in the process. This liberal worldview holds that high ideals, religion, morals, universals and traditions are unnecessary because they restrain people’s wills. It is the individuals’ choice if they want to have these restraints. However, coercion is seen as the greatest of sins.
The liberal mentality is opposed by a Christian one that consists of reason proposing to the will the object of its love found in the good, true and beautiful that reflect God’s adorable majesty. Within the well-ordered soul, grace enlightens the intellect, strengthens the will and tempers the unruly passions. This quest for truth and, ultimately, for God is exponentially augmented by the practice of charity and the action of supernatural grace. The result of this mentality is a Christian order that makes abortion unthinkable.
Today’s clash of mentalities reflects two ways of being and thinking. To eradicate procured abortion, the liberal mindset of absolute, unshackled license must be overthrown, and we must seek a Christian worldview founded on the ordered liberty that virtue and nature require.
4. Never Forget that this Is a Religious Battle
The religious element has always been a crucial part of the struggle to eliminate procured abortion. The pro-life movement is sustained more by the prayers of its followers than the generous donations of its major benefactors. Sidewalk rosaries have done more to close abortion clinics than mere protests or legal challenges.
We must resist the temptation to limit the debate to a secular discussion over the value of human life. The most important reason why procured abortion is wrong is that it offends an infinitely just and merciful God. Each unborn child sacrificed to today’s postmodern idols eliminates one plan of God that will never be realized. Violating God’s Law is an act of revolt against His Goodness.
As the murder of an innocent human being, procured abortion is listed as a sin that cries to heaven for vengeance. The proliferation of this sin does not bring God’s blessings upon the land but His wrath. Those who oppose this national sin must see their struggle as an act of love of God and the order He created, which includes the unborn.
Thus, the pro-life movement must use every opportunity to call upon God’s aid, both in public and private. The fight must be put in the context of a religious battle. We should not be afraid to invoke God’s Holy Name out of fear of offending those who hate Him or have no Faith and whom we hope to attract to the good cause.
Let us boldly invoke Our Divine Lord. The other side already makes frequent reference to its satanic influences. Indeed, the evil of procured abortion is so great that it must be seen in the context of a fight between good and evil, angels and demons. As Saint Paul teaches, “Put you on the armor of God that you may be able to stand against the deceits of the devil. For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood; but against principalities and powers, against the rulers of the world of this darkness, against the spirits of wickedness in the high places” (Eph. 6:11—12).
God Will Never Fail Us
Only by having recourse to this Divine assistance can pro-lifers prevail in this battle. We must practice that unshakeable faith that moves mountains.
Confidence is a fortified hope that admits no hesitation or anxiety. It cannot be shaken by anything in the world. To the confident soul, as human help becomes more improbable, Divine intervention becomes all the more certain. With this confidence in God through the intercession of the Blessed Mother, we must confront the battles ahead. If we do our part by trusting in God and fighting for Him, He will not fail us!
Let us remember these four things as we are put to the test. Armed with confidence, let us courageously march forward against the evil spirits of these dark and depraved times, changing the debate with the supernatural reality of God’s aid. We must adapt our tactics with all eyes fixed upon a moral and abortion-free America, one nation under God. We cannot rest until procured abortion becomes unthinkable, and God and His Blessed Mother are loved and obeyed.
Article first published on the Return to Order website: https://www.returntoorder.org/...